These are the 7 Tenets of Plasticity that I learned from watching the Brain Fitness Program
1. Change can only occur when the brain is alert and engaged. - you have to keep learning, pushing your brain. learn a language, walk a different way home.
2. Positive Change strengthens connections between neurons engaged at the same time towards a model of perfection. - Positive thoughts and change builds and strengthens neuron connections.
3. Neurons that fire together wire together. - work your actions in concert with your thoughts. Remember what you say, do, and think in conjunction is a powerful learning tool
4. Initial changes are just temporary. Incremental engaged steps, bit by bit produce lasting knowledge. - you need to build layer by layer, reinforcing what you have learned with simple tests and review.
5. Brain plasticity can be positive or negative (bad habits) - your brain can be trained either way, be mindful of your habits and routines.
6. Memory is crucial for learning and can be improved. - memory can be built and improved by practice and use.
7. Motivation is key. (Engaged) - what you want to do, and you do the work, you can change.
Our minds, that we once thought fixed and unchangeable, are more dynamic and robust than we believe. The universal fixed image we have of ourselves, the unchanging self, is quickly becoming an ever changing mood of the moment, with rapid-fire thoughts changed constantly by environment and the chemical changes of our internal biological systems.
If we have low blood sugar, we act differently. We act differently in groups than we do alone.
Studies have shown that if one part of the brain is damaged, the brain can be taught through exercises or sometimes rewired physically so that new pathways of information are created, and in the end, creating new ways of thinking.
Imagine what this means in terms of how we perceive ourselves and our thoughts. We can rewire our mental processes/
Brains are not modular - they are a dynamic network that allows information ( via nerves and external stimuli) to reroute if the original pathways are damaged. The new pathways need to be created through hard work, through exercises, taught, learned, and meditated on, but they can be created.
The fact that the brain is not a fixed modular unit, but is malleable, shows that people are made up of collections of systems and the way we are formed is by the push-pull dynamics of the interplay and the level of interconnectedness of those systems and external conditions. There is a me, me is not a fixed solid thing, but a living, changing, make that ever-changing collection of systems that adapts to the changes in the internal and external world.
When we wake up and say I don’t feel myself, we should remember, we never do.
If brains are changeable and new routes for information can be created if the old ones are damaged, what does that mean?
It means that how your brain is today, how you think, what you believe yourself to be, in fact, what you think you were born with or without is all changeable with a focused plan and some discipline.
It means that what we think we are, how we think, can all be changed to what we want to be, how we want to think. We can consciously redesign ourselves.
Science has not found the math gene and I am sure Warren Buffet was not born with the Billionaire gene, these traits are all made, sometimes intentionally, sometimes from environment and hard work.
Buffet’s father was a stock broker, he grew up around investing, and if you had started learning how to invest at the age of say seven, at twenty years of age you would be an expert (remembering the ten year rule). The other twenty year old’s around you who had not spent thirteen years studying it, would not be as good, and in fact considering today’s educational environment, they would know nothing, and they would consider that person a genius. And they would believe, as would the others around them, and resources would go to them, people would reinforce their belief in them, and soon, you have a Warren Buffett.
This means if you are bad at math, you didn’t miss the math gene, because there isn’t one. It means you need more practice.
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“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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